Meininger: "Does not look like plant is coming to Scottsbluff"

Scottsbluff Mayor Randy Meininger indicated Thursday the possibility of a proposed meatpacking plant locating in Scottsbluff is off the table at the present time. Following an hour long discussion about economic development at the Scottsbluff council's budget workshop, Meininger said "It does not look at this time like the project is going to land in Scottsbluff." Meininger admitted other options like locating the plant in Gering, in the county, or even a Plan B that could include Scottsbluff are open.

Future Food Energy, LLC, financed by mostly South Korean investors, had offered to purchase 43 acres in a Scottsbluff industrial park for the project. But questions about financing, skepticism from many residents, and negative recommendations from the area's economic development agency, Twin Cities Development, the Scottsbluff Planning Commission, and from the city's L.B. 840 committee have forced the company to look elsewhere.

Council member Ray Gonzales was critical of the lack of timely information given the council by TCD to make a decision, and Meininger admitted the process was flawed and did not allow the "due diligence" necessary to make a decision.

Meininger said there was concern by the investors and the company that the negativity toward the project could impact relations between South Korea and the U.S. Meininger said he believes the South Koreans "want to be good stewards, good partners, and I think their heart and intent was right."

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